‘That’s tennis – you have to adapt!’ Keothavong highlights reality facing Emma Raducanu

Wimbledon: Crowd roars as Emma Raducanu wins

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Anne Keothavong appeared as a panellist on BBC 2’s coverage of Wimbledon and was joined by Sue Barker and Tracey Austin to reflect on Emma Raducanu’s sudden drop out of the tournament. Sue Barker said the environment for Emma Raducanu was different from what she had trained in before which may have caused her difficulty breathing although the panel are still unaware as to what sparked her departure. Ms Keothavong said there were factors that could have pressured Emma Raducanu but added that the young and rising star would have to learn to deal with it and “adapt” as tennis can be very demanding.

Appearing on BBC 2, Ms Barker wondered if the closed roof, bigger crowds and media focus on Ms Raducanu may have had an impact on her performance.

Ms Keothavong replied: “Everything you said there, it was a big moment and she was aware of it. 

“You know, she’s a smart girl she is very self-assured but you can’t help but ignore all those factors. 

“And yes, there was a lot of time for her to think about it but I know that she prepared for that match in the same way as she did for her previous matches. 

“She purposely practised to make sure she wasn’t bombarded by people in the crowd on the main courts and kept very much to herself. 

“And it’s just unfortunate the way things panned out.

“I don’t think you could have predicted that the previous match would go as long as it did…

“But that’s tennis, and you have to adapt and she will find herself in similar situations again and she’ll be stronger for it.”

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Emma Raducanu retired during her second set against Ajla Tomljanovic as the 18-year-old was struggling to breathe. 

After trailing in the second set, she appeared to be hyperventilating and was given a medical timeout while medics checked on her. 

The fan favourite was the only Briton left in the tournament and was a fan favourite due to her skills and very young age in the tournament. 

While the official cause has been recorded as “difficulty breathing” many are still unsure what the exact issue was. 

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Rival Tomljanovic said: “I’m really shocked, Emma must be really, really hurt if she came to the decision to retire.

“I’m really sorry for her, I wish we could have finished it – I’m really wishing her all the best.”

Ms Raducanu had only finished her A-Level exams a few months prior to the tournament which was the biggest in her career to date. 

Ranked 338th, Ms Raducanu surprised many with her performance up to her fourth match after comfortably beating her opponents.

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